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My design is basically a “Space RV”. It would act as a transport ship to transport 3 astronauts to Mars and then act as living quarters on Mars.
Food and water would be stored in the cargo hold. Food like canned food and freeze dried food could be carried. If the food was stored on trays read to eat it would save space. The astronauts would need to eat this kind of food because it keeps for long periods of time. The hold could be filled completely with consumables. As the astronauts ate down the food and water there would be room in the hold to bring Mars rocks back to Earth. Medicine could also be carried in the cargo hold. A Mars greenhouse could be carried where the astronauts could grow fresh food like lettuce and vegetables. This would be good as it would cut down on the food that would need to be carried and would give the crew a break from canned food. The sun should be about the correct brightness for the green house to work. The green house would be carried in the hold as well. Unmanned re- supply modules could be sent in to mars orbit ahead of the mission and landed to supply the astronauts with new science equipment, rocket fuel and food. If the astronauts landed near the Polar Regions on Mars they could melt the ice to get water and it could be possible to filter oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.
All systems onboard would be redundant. It would be powered by 8 radioisotope thermoelectric generators which I think is a highly reliable power source and would have a 2 meter by 12 meter by 12 meter fuel tank for its rocket engine. A mars buggy is stored on the side of the ship so the crew could explore farther then if they just walked. The heat shield would be easily replaceable to avoid stranding astronauts in space or on Mars. The heat shield would be made of the same material as the space shuttle’s heat shield, because (when there was no damage) it has been reliable in the past. Titanium plating on vital systems, airtight compartments and window covers add to the crew’s protection. For the crews comfort there would be an air conditioner built in to the life support systems.
The crew would need a simple and energy efficient way to clean their windows if the got dust on them when the covers were opens, a high pressure air stream of dust filtered Martian air could keep the windows dust free. Landing legs would extend from the ship on landing. The airlock would need a decontamination room to avoid dumping Mars dust into the crew quarters. Not only would this be a mess and an inhalation hazard it could clog up the life support systems which could lead to crew suffocation.
My design is based on the lunar lander used during the Apollo mission. This one is nearly self dependent. It has living quarters, a cargo hold and a large power generator.
Height: 13 meters (91 ft)
Width: 16 meters (28 ft)
NASA Official: Mark León
Last Updated: May 2005
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